A love story telling the story of a Chinese American family that faces decisions of the future direction of their lives and relationships. The story was written and directed by former computer engineer Alice Wu and is based on her personal experiences of being gay in the conservative and traditional Chinese American community. Saving Face was given only a limited release in a small number of theatres around the U.S. by distributor Sony Pictures Classics and was given largely positive reviews by critics online and in print media.
Saving Face begins with the character of Wil, played by Lynn Chen facing up to the fact her middle aged mother, Gao is having a baby out of wedlock; in the conservative world of the Chinese American community Gao, played by Joan Chen is now an outcast who is shunned by the rest of the community and her own family.
Wil decides to let her mother stay with her causing problems in her own relationship with girlfriend, Vivian; to meet Wil's mother Vivian agrees to be introduced as Wil's friend. Wil must now make a decision on whether to continue her relationship and admit to her mother she is gay or continue to keep her sexuality a secret.
Wil's life takes a further turn for the worse when she realises Gao has agreed to marry Cho, a man she does not love in order to save her family any further embarrassment. Because of the problems with her mother and the failure to com out as a lesbian Wil's girlfriend Vivian leaves her for a new life in Europe; after breaking up Gao's wedding Wil slides into depression over Vivian's decision to leave. Gao and Vivian's mother conclude the movie by plotting a reconciliation between their daughters. The movie was nominated for various film festival awards, including best breakthrough director for Alice Wu.